Super Eagles goalkeeper Francis Uzoho has acknowledged that the team lost focus in the 4-4 result against Sierra Leone in a 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifying game at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City two years ago.
The Eagles raced to a four-goal lead in the first-half of the clash under former coach Gernor Rohr, before the team capitulated and allowed the West African neighbours equalize in the second-half.
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Both sides are again in Group A of the qualifiers for the 2023 AFCON IN Ivory Coast, and they will square off again on Thursday at the Moshood Abiola national stadium in Abuja.
Speaking ahead of the clash, Uzoho, who was in goal for Nigeria in the recent international friendly games in the United States, noted that it is important for the three-time African champions to learn from the debacle that occurred in 2020.
“I think we will be more focused, I think we lost focus and we thought okay maybe we’ve already won the game by leading 4-0 in the first half. So I think that is a lesson for us to learn from, that football is not about pride, so we are going to respect out opponent this time around, give our all and see what happens,” the Omonia Nicosia goaltender told Brila FM in an interview.
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The 23-year-old was blamed for Nigeria’s failure to qualify for 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar after he allowed a low shot from Ghana captain Thomas Partey slip through his arm in the second leg of the playoff in March.
However, he redeemed himself with some impressive saves in Nigeria’s defeats in the two friendly matches against Mexico and Ecuador in the US last week.
By Femi Ashaolu
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